The season for markets and concerts begins on Main Street [Mostly Main Street]

Howard County Times

The Old Town Farmers Market is back. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the parking lot next to The Wine Bin is transformed into an oasis of delectable fresh fruit, vegetables and lots of homemade goods like pickles, waffles and bread. The huge parking lot F, behind the log cabin, is right next door so there is plenty of convenient free parking. Also, the free Concerts in the Courtyard are back, behind Tonge Row. See a band play every Saturday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. After enjoying the music, head up to The Wine Bin for its free movie night. On May 26, the movie will be "James Bond: Man with the Golden Gun," and on Saturday, May 27 it's "James Bond: Spectre." The market, the music, the movies: all sure signs we are ready to enjoy outdoor festivities once more.

My husband Tom and I had lunch the other day at the new Manor Hill Tavern on Old Columbia Pike, just up from Main Street. We scored a nice table next to the window. I enjoyed the pickle-brined fried chicken sandwich and decadent bacon-fat fries and noticed some attractive fresh pizza coming out of the handsome cobalt-tiled oven. As if we hadn't enjoyed enough treats, afterward we wandered down the street to the new location of Sweet Cascades, on the corner of Old Columbia Pike and Main Street. This is a lovely little shop, and the candy choices are plentiful and delicious. They are opening an ice cream shop next door soonand plan to have tables out back overlooking the Tiber River.

HorseSpirit Arts Gallery at 8090 Main St. is hosting a new show, "Romancing Spring," through May 28. Three artists are featured. Nancy Lee Davis is presenting her oil paintings; Loreen Western has vibrant hand-painted silk scarves; and Carlos Zepeda is showing his silver and stone hand-made jewelry. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Monday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, is having a block party on May 27 and 28. Not the kind you usually think of — this one features LEGO. They will have a LEGO building zone as well as a LEGO mural of a B&O caboose. Bring the kids down and build your own LEGO masterpiece. The museum will be closed on May 29. During the month of May, members of the B&O Museum receive free admission to the Maryland Zoo.

The Howard County Historical Society's annual fundraiser is coming up on June 3. This year's theme is "Strangers in the Night: a '50s cocktail party." The party will be held at Oakdale. Tickets are $100. Call 410-480-3250 to reserve. The Society's third annual Déjà vu and Nearly New sale was postponed due to the weather and will now be held on May 20 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mat About You, the framing shop that backs onto parking lot D. Proceeds benefit the education projects of the Society. Also on May 20 at 7 p.m., the Starvation Army Band will be performing at the Society's Museum of Howard County History on Court Avenue. The band plays Dixieland jazz and swing music. Tickets are $12, free to Society members. On May 27, the Society is hosting Eli August and the Abandoned Buildings at the museum at 7:30 p.m. This is a party to celebrate the release of the band's new CD, "Cinematic Love." Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Do you worry about the historic district every time it rains? Me, too. Fortunately there are people working to improve things to prevent another disaster in the future. On Wednesday, May 31 at 7 p.m., there will be a kickoff meeting to present plans to reduce flooding by the Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan committee. The meeting will be held in the meeting room at St. Paul's Church, 3755 St. Paul St., just up the hill from the Railroad Museum. For more information, call 410-313-2350.

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